I'm brand new to the concertina and have been perusing these forums for the past couple days looking for advice. Wanting to learn a new instrument, I bought an old Anglo 20 button Scholer off ebay to try (20 button to start out, and Scholer b/c from the reading I did, for price range going vintage vs new/made in China seemed the way to go.) I got it a couple of days ago, and it seems in pretty good shape, all the buttons have clear sounds, definitely something I could practice on. But, here is my issue. Since everything else on the market is C/G, I mistakenly didn't notice this Scholer is not (which looking back seems common for German-made in that time period). It took me a day to realize oh no, it's not just terribly out of tune; it's in D/A. I've played classical piano and flute for years, so I'm proficient in reading sheet music, and to have the notes on the page not match the notes from the instrument is really messing with my head. So here are my questions, I guess:
1) Is it generally easier to learn on a C/G 20 button if you ever plan on moving up to a (presumably C/G) 30 button Anglo later?
2) Is it much more advantageous to have the C# available than regular ol' C? Should I keep it for that alone? If I do, that means I'll be learning the actual D/A fingering, instead of just pretending it's a transposed C/G, and I would have to learn C/G fingering all over again if I moved up, I think? There's just little to no literature for D/A instruments, too: fingering charts, song notation, sheet music with "tabs", etc are all for C/G. It feels a little lonely. :-P
3) Right now my goal is just to play by myself for my own/friends' amusement, no public performances, but if I ever want to jam w/ someone else, unless they're also tuned to D/A I would have to transpose on the fly, yes? That (and music theory in general) is not a forte of mine.
4) I still have time to return this guy and look for a C/G, but if I do that and want to stay in the same price range, am I making a massive mistake by getting a new instrument? Are they just made so crummily it wouldn't function properly, or it would break and I'd be out an instrument? Other new options right now are Hohner, Stagi, Trinity College, and several plasticky Chinese ones, but reviews are mixed, clearly. Best out of meh options would be...?
I'm in Los Angeles which doesn't have a big Irish/folk music scene really, so nearby help is pretty much nil. I appreciate any advice you can give. I'm really excited but also struggling. Thank you! -Emma